TURN, Washington's Spies

TURN, Washington's Spies

The Complete First Season

DVD - 2015
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A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War. Abe Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his friends to from the Culper Ring, an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war, but also gave birth to modern spycraft.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] :, [Publisher not identified],, [2015]
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.4572 TUR NVD
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (452 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
video file,DVD video,rda
Alternative Title: Turn (Television program)


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Apr 06, 2018

'Turn, Washington's Spies' is an interesting, fictional TV series about the American Revolution, with fairly accurate historical detail. Unfortunately, the casting of Jamie Bell as the protagonist tends to make the program somewhat unbelievable. Jaime's Birmingham accent is quite different to his father's (Bristol), who sounds more American. In that era, American accents would have been a mixed bag, but people from the same area would have had the same accents, yet that's not the case here. The Irish didn't arrive en masse until 1860, but they are over-represented here and even have an Australian- Daniel Henshall- doing a great blarney accent, when he could have done early American.

The other thing that stands out is the height of the British soldiers. At that time, Americans were "a head taller" than Europeans, yet here we have 6 foot 3-inch British soldiers while most of the Americans are short, with Bell a mere 5 foot 7, who also has two beautiful women after him. It's too bad he was miscast, as the rest of the cast is superb. The script, in general, is solid, with only a few incidents of 21st-century notions. Bell isn't a bad actor, just not in this drama, he's awful. The character he plays, though, is totally flawed; one of the least sympathetic leads I've seen since Anthony Quinn played Barabus. At least you could symp[athize with Barabus.

Still, this is a series that explains a lot of what happened in the 1770s; shows why Americans are obsessed with the 2nd Amendment; and is excellent historical drama, despite some of the revisionism. Bonus: the music is wonderful, and illustrates how folk music of the era was as equally advanced musically as the classical waltzes we experience.

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